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Linear searching in a non-linear environment: the information seeking behaviour of visually impaired people on the world wide web

Craven, Jenny (2004) Linear searching in a non-linear environment: the information seeking behaviour of visually impaired people on the world wide web. In: Computers helping people with special needs: 9th international conference, ICCHP 2004, July 7-9, 2004 proceedings. Springer. ISBN 3-540-22334-7

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Abstract

The information seeking behaviour of visually impaired people was explored in the Non-visual Access to the Digital Library (NoVA) (1) project, undertaken by the Centre for Research in Library and Information Management (CERLIM). The aim of the study was to develop further understanding of user behaviour, with particular reference to people who needed to use assistive technology in order to read or interact with web sites. The findings of the two-year study revealed potential barriers to access, identified from observations of how assistive technologies such as screen readers can force users to search or navigate in a way that is not necessarily reflected in the design of the web page. Recommendations have been made regarding the provision of practical usability guidelines, access to technology, training in the use of assistive technologies, and the importance of universal design.

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